SERDEF Trustee Fortunato T. de la Pena will hold the Science and Technology portfolio in the incoming cabinet of president-elect Rodrigo Duterte.
De la Pena was among the cabinet appointees named during a press conference in Davao City last June 1.
He had a long, distinguished and unblemished career in the Department of Science and Technology as Undersecretary from 2001 to 2015.
In 2011, he was elected chairman of the prestigious United Nations Commission on Science and Technology (UNCSTD).
His stint with DOST began in the 1980s as head of planning service division of the National Science and Technology Authority (DOST’s forerunner). In 1989, he was appointed director of DOST’s Technology Application and Promotion Institute where he served for three years.
Soon after, he became the director of the University of Philippines Institute for Small-Scale Industries (UP ISSI), a position he held for more than 10 years.
Dela Peña earned his BS in Chemical Engineering and MS Industrial Engineering from the University of the Philippines in Diliman. He also did graduate studies in operations research at the Polytechnic Institute of New York and in industrial quality control at the Boucentrum International Education in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
In a DOST publication, De la Pena’s leadership style was described as participatory. He stressed that participatory environment in all sectors is critical in gaining the desired outcome of S & T interventions.
“I consider the potentials of human resources whether he/she comes from the academe, business firm or non-government organization because what counts is the contribution he can offer.”
De la Pena has been with the SERDEF Board of Trustees since 1989. As director of the UP ISSI, he was also ex-officio executive director of SERDEF.